Workforce Edge Strategic Scheduling Experience

Our Experience

Workforce Edge helps healthcare organizations cope with the challenges of a limited and changing workforce.

We optimize your scheduling business processes and how your scheduling organization and technology is configured.

We help you develop strategies to manage your relief workforce, to create balanced and predictable master schedules and to fill shifts faster and more effectively. This spills over into higher employee engagement, a safer working environment, control of financial spend and the ability to provide better care for patients/residents and their families.

Our team of senior consultants have deep experience in:

  • assessment and diagnosis of staff scheduling and workforce utilization problems;
  • process design and cultural transformation related to staff scheduling;
  • development of relief staffing models;
  • HRIS / staff scheduling / timekeeping / payroll system selection and implementation readiness; and
  • strategic planning for annual vacations and future workforce needs.

“Over the past two years, we have utilized the advice and services of Workforce Edge on a number of workforce and staff scheduling related initiatives, and feel that their assistance has helped our organization take significant steps forward.

The success that we have recently experienced has proven that Workforce Edge’s methodologies are both scalable and flexible. The outcomes include new business processes that have been approved for organization-wide implementation, and equally importantly, staff from across VCH have expressed their appreciation at being involved in the design process—a great momentum for change has been achieved.”

Anne Harvey, Vice President, Employee Engagement
Vancouver Coastal Health

Past Projects

Creating a Foundation for Balanced Scheduling

A large health service had managers creating new rotations for their staff each 4-week period. Employees would request or refuse to work specific shifts and operational needs were being inconsistently met as managers tried valiantly to meet employee requests and staff their units. Patient safety incidents had been linked to staff deployment and skill mix, resulting in a strong case for change. A decision was made by the organization to establish a centralized scheduling service that would take over administrative shift-filling activities from managers.


The goals of this engagement were to implement rotations that balanced employee preferences with operational needs and to transition units to use new scheduling business processes that maintain the integrity of the rotations. Workforce Edge trained master rotation designers appointed by the health service to build rotations under this new approach and trained schedulers to use the new business processes in their day-to-day work. Clinical directors and managers were supported in the significant change management activities as the new rotations were implemented and as they started to receive support from the new scheduling service.

Out Of Control Overtime and Agency Costs

A hospital contacted Workforce Edge due to an inability to contain overtime and agency spending. The CFO had no visibility into the cause of this spending as they did not have any centralized scheduling, scheduling system or position controls in the organization.


Workforce Edge was engaged to create a scheduling environment with consistent, transparent scheduling of employees at straight time, with an additional goal of providing more full time positions in the organization.

A design phase delivered standardized business processes for managing scheduling transactions. System requirements and evaluation tools were developed to assess the various staff scheduling software systems available in the market against the organization’s needs.

Due to the expedited timeline, a temporary Excel-based scheduling tool was provided by Workforce Edge in order to facilitate implementation of the new staff scheduling structure and business processes to begin to stem the financial overruns. Workforce Edge also began to develop and deliver new master rotations for all clinical areas.

Following system selection, the hospital was able to automate the business processes on their new standardized system.

Maximizing Efficiency of a Scheduling Service

A regional staffing office was responsible for scheduling staff across a large rural area and was encountering challenges including financial cutbacks and a severe shortage in the healthcare workforce in their area.

Building a model of excellence in rural healthcare against this backdrop requires that every manager in every community work smarter to do more with less, and requires the availability of the most flexible, yet stable workforce possible. The staffing office requested a review of their operations and recommendations for process improvements specific to their unique circumstances.


A staffing office review was conducted including interviews and observation of work processes. Results were presented in a feedback workshop to build common understanding and support for the recommendations to be implemented. Periodic coaching calls were established for a short period after completion of the review to ensure recommendations were being implemented effectively and to respond to unanticipated changes.

Public Policy Analysis

An organization reporting into a provincial Ministry of Health, created at the interface between health employers and unions, contracted with Workforce Edge to analyze the ability of employers to meet provisions and agreements relating to health scheduling and staff replacement.

Although included healthcare organizations were subject to the same Collective Agreements, the strategies and approaches used for staff scheduling varied within and between organizations, leading to inconsistent data and an inability to determine whether the agreements were being met.


Workforce Edge completed an assessment of scheduling capabilities and approaches within each organization using interviews, focus groups, observation and workshops. A variety of recommendations were implemented to improve the data and compliance reporting.